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By Bob Elliott
Canadian Baseball Network
A total of 27 Canadian high schoolers and collegians were chosen in the June draft.
And seven fared well enough in their first season of pro ball that they received mention in the annual end-of-the-season 2016 Draft Report Card by the highly-respected Baseball America.
The Canucks who appeared in Baseball America’s wrap
RHP Cal Quantrill (Port Hope, Ont.) Stanford University, who went eighth over all in North America to the San Diego Padres. He pitched for the Ontario Terriers.
C Andrew Yerzy (Toronto Ont.) from the Toronto Mets, second round and RHP Curtis Taylor (Port Coquitlam, BC) fourth round, University of British Columbia, both to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Taylor pitched for the Coquitlam Redlegs.
INF Charles Leblanc (Laval, Que.) University of Pittsburgh, fourth round to the Texas Rangers to the Texas Rangers.
INF Abraham Toro-Hernandez (Greenfield Park, Que.) fifth round, Seminole State College to the Houston Astros.
OF Jacob Robson (Windsor, Ont.) Mississippi State University, eighth round and INF Daniel Pinero (Toronto, Ont.) Virrginia, ninth, to the Detroit Tigers. Both were graduates of the Ontario Blue Jays.
By John Manuel and JJ Cooper
Best Pure Hitter: The Diamondbacks were higher than the industry consensus on C Andy Yerzy (2) due to their belief in his bat. He struggled in his debut, batting .216/.240/.265 with 38 strikeouts in 162 at-bats, but improved defensively behind the plate, where he’s quite raw.
Best Power Hitter: Yerzy has plus raw power and has shown it with wood in showcases. He’ll have to prove he can adjust to pro pitching, but the Diamondbacks hope he can follow a similar path to past Canadian catchers who hit their way to the majors such as Justin Morneau and Joey Votto.
Best Fastball: RHP Curtis Taylor (4) reached 96 mph this spring as a starter and touched 98 in one-inning stints after signing, from a low three-quarters angle.
San Diego Padres
BEST FASTBALL: RHP Cal Quantrill (1), the first of the Padres’ three first-rounders, has come back from Tommy John surgery throwing 94-96 mph. He has plus control, though his command is still coming back.
BEST SECONDARY PITCH: Quantrill throws three variations of his plus changeup, with a feel for manipulating the ball and locating it. He has the confidence to throw it in any count, to any hitter.
BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER: SS/3B Charles LeBlanc (4) and Huff are both tall for their positions but have requisite arm strength for their jobs. The Canadian LeBlanc probably fits better at third base long-term at 6-foot-4.
BEST ATHLETE: Stephen Wrenn is a speedy outfielder who can stay in center field. Dawson is a power-speed outfielder who runs well for a big man. 3B Abraham Toro (5) is an extremely strong, well-built 6-footer who has average speed to go with his strength.
BEST PURE HITTER: OF Jacob Robson (8) batted .321 at Mississippi State last spring as a redshirt junior after hitting .324 as a sophomore, then hit .288 in his pro debut. He has a contact-oriented approach that gives him a shot to be an above-average hitter. Robson was the first hitter the Tigers drafted.
FASTEST RUNNER: Robson is a top-of-the-scale runner, as is OF Daniel Woodrow (12).
BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER: Robson is a solid center fielder. Daniel Pinero (9) is a tall, rangy infielder who doesn’t profile as an everyday shortstop but plays it well enough to serve as a utilityman.
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